Throwback Thursday: Remember When Hayden Panettiere Starred in Wendy’s Commercials?

Hayden Panettiere is best known for roles on Nashville & Heroes but she started as a child star in soap operas & commercials, like Wendy's.

Written by Laura Hostelley
Throwback Thursday: Remember When Hayden Panettiere Starred in Wendy’s Commercials?
Hayden Panettiere; Photo via YouTube

Hayden Panettiere has worked her way up to becoming a top-notch actress with a résumé a mile long. Most recently, Panettiere has graced the small screen as Juliette Barnes, a country music diva in television drama, Nashville. But before she made it big, Panettiere was an adorable child actress stealing her brother’s Wendy’s chicken nuggets for a TV commercial.

“My brother told me to watch his chicken nuggets for a minute so no one eats them,” tiny Panettiere with curly blonde locks and a high-pitched voice to match says to the camera.”But when someone gets the nuggets, it’s hard not to try one.”

Recently, the actress went on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert to talk about her upbringing as a child star. She notes that as a tot, she appeared on over 50 commercials as well as several soap operas while making her talk show debut at just seven-years-old.

“Dave Thomas was still around, God Bless him, and I got to do a couple Wendy’s commercials with Dave,” she tells Colbert proudly.

Now with a daughter of her own, Kaya, the question is raised if she will follow in her momma’s footsteps.

“I hope not, I mean I will support whatever she wants to do,” Panettiere adds with a laugh, noting that she hopes she doesn’t follow her father and become a boxer, either. “Let’s go doctor! Veterinarian! I could live vicariously through her, a lot of moms do that.”

Beyond selling 99¢ chicken nuggets, Panettiere starred in advertisements for the likes of Post Cereal, toolboxes and Triaminic VHS. She has obviously come a long way since then and you can see proof of that on Nashville, which airs Thursday nights on CMT at 9 PM EST.